When I was younger, elementary school age, I saw my mom cutting up what I believed to be peeled apples in the kitchen. I took a piece and ate it, only to be unpleasantly surprised at the raw potato in my mouth. I quickly learned that while potatoes and apples look the same when peeled and chopped, they certainly don’t taste the same.
New research from the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center in New Hampshire indicates that many kids have a similar problem distinguishing apples from potatoes. Only this time, the kids were asked to tell the difference between apple slices and french fries in fast food advertising on networks like Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network.
Since 2009, fast food restaurants have been in agreement to include healthy foods in their advertising targeted at children. It was hoped kids could be encouraged to eat healthier foods with their meals. Of course, if kids don’t recognize the healthy food, the plan doesn’t work.
McDonald’s and Burger King agreed to advertise only healthy food offerings as part of the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative. Let’s see if they’ve kept their word.
When it comes to child marketing, McDonald’s and Burger King are selling the experience, not the food.
The above study, funded and published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has found the two largest fast food corporations aren’t as dumb as they look. They’ve figured out that showcasing their food is actually a bad idea. Obviously McDonald’s and Burger King cannot self-regulate their ads aimed at children. The facts are anything but elementary, as the tactics of these fast food behemoths are prolonging the childhood obesity epidemic. One-third of our children remain obese.
99 percent of all fast food ads aimed at children came courtesy of two companies.
Any guesses? Not a tough one here, folks. McDonald’s and Burger King placed 44,602 and 37,210 ads aimed at kids, respectively. This is disconcerting. Despite big fast food’s efforts to increase healthy offerings, the burgers, fries, and nuggets peddled in kid’s meals are highly caloric, highly fatty, and highly processed. To this day, no one really knows what McDonald’s chicken nuggets are made of.
Side note: A 3.3oz serving of McDonald’s eggs, which should be one of their healthiest menu items, contains 20 ingredients and 173 percent of your daily cholesterol intake. Just sayin’. (more…)
On Tuesday, Burger King debuted their new “Satisfries,” which have 40 percent less fat and 30 percent fewer calories than their traditional french fries.
It took Burger King 10 years to engineer a special batter that would absorb less oil while still maintaining a crispy exterior. Operative word – engineered. Cheryl Forberg, RD, the nutrition expert for Biggest Loser, told us, “The new fry appears to be more processed, more of a potato product with some type of batter that absorbs less oil.”
A regular sized order of the crinkle cut “Satisfries” contains 340 calories, 14g of fat, and 370mg of sodium, so these fries are healthyishnot healthy. A medium order of their standard fries has 403 calories, 17g of fat, and 572mg of sodium.
“One out of every two Burger King guests orders our classic French fries and we know our guests are hungry for options that are better for them,” said Burger King president Alex Macedo.
While these fries may be healthier than their fast food counterparts, taste tests have proved people prefer the greasy, hi-fat old standbys. However, BK must be doing something right, their stock rose 0.2 percent yesterday.
It seems like the holidays bring out some more unique flavors in our food. If you roam the aisles in the store right now you’ll easily find a pumpkin spice flavored version of many things, while others have released their limited edition peppermint or gingerbread flavors, too. While cookies and coffees make sense, we’re seeing these holiday flavors in some extraordinary places.
Perhaps one of the biggest surprises of the holiday flavor rage is coming from Pringles, the potato chip company. For the 2012 holiday season you can find the tubes of chips in a Cinnamon and Sugar, White Chocolate Peppermint, or a Pumpkin Pie Spice flavor. Once you pop we hope you’ll be able to stop – a serving of 16 chips in the cinnamon and sugar or white chocolate flavors match the nutrition facts for their original with 150 calories, 9 grams of fat, and 2 grams of sugar.
Since those chips will probably leave you thirsty, why not wash them down with a Jones Soda? Every year the soda company releases the wildest holiday flavors. While nothing may ever top their Turkey and Gravy flavor that was first released in 1994, the annual sodas are typically a huge hit. This year the sodas are Gingerbread, Pear Tree, Candy Cane, and Sugar Plum. While we couldn’t find nutritionals for these seasonal flavors, we imagine it can’t be too far off the traditional options. A Jones Soda cream soda has 190 very empty calories and a shocking 48 grams of sugar! (more…)
This summer, Burger King is giving the term ‘baconator’ a whole new meaning. It’s taking this savory, smoked treat and adding to an ice cream sundae. You heard right: bacon and ice cream in one dish.
We reported earlier that Burger King was testing out their bacon sundae at a few select locations in Nashville, Tennessee. And apparently after seeing a fair amount of success, the fast food giant announced this week that it will be debuting the unlikely dessert at stores nationwide starting Thursday, June 14.
The sundae won’t be showing up alone; it’s bringing several meaty friends along with it. As part of a special summer menu, Burger King is also introducing a handful of chicken, pork and beef sandwiches as limited-time offers. (more…)
Burger King announced some very interesting news. As the world’s third largest burger chain, they have pledged that all of their eggs and pork will come from cage-free chickens and pigs by 2017.
This move comes as a rise in consumer demand for humanely produced food has increased. Many animal welfare activist have been pushing to see livestock out of cages. Burger King is the first to make the official move while many other companies are responding as well.
Traditionally, conventional eggs come from hens that are confined to “battery cages.” These are cages that give the hen about as much space as a sheet of notebook paper. Most pork comes from sows who are confined in narrow crates during their four-month pregnancies.
These conditions are pretty rough and have many activists upset. The cage-free hens will be housed in barns with room to move and they’ll have perches and nesting boxes. The cage-free sows will be indoors but no longer in crates while pregnant. These methods raise production costs according to egg and pork producers. (more…)
As the self proclaimed queen of ice cream in my family, I’ve tried some pretty out there flavors over the course of my life. Cappuccino chocolate chunk, bubblegum, birthday cake, french toast; my adventurous palette has never led me astray!
But I just don’t get the whole bacon in dessert thing – it doesn’t seem right. Bacon belongs on my breakfast plate next to my eggs, toast and and coffee – not on my ice cream sundae. But, if Burger King has anything to say about it, that’s exactly where it belongs.
The fast food giant has introduced a bacon sundae that features vanilla soft serve, chocolate sauce and several pieces of crispy bacon. The over-the-top treat will set customers back about $2.49 and is only available at a handful of locations in Nashville, Tennessee.
Company spokesperson Randi Farynyk told NPR that “The company is currently testing menu items in a small sampling of U.S. restaurants. The brand does not have plans to expand the test to additional markets at this time.” (more…)
Fast food giant Burger Kingis launching 10 new menu items as an attempt to gain back their place as the number two fast food burger chain after being edged out by Wendy’s last year. This is the first time since opening in 1954 that Burger King has undergone a menu expansion of this size. When you see the new items on Burger King’s menu, you might think you wandered into a McDonald’s. The new items Burger King is offering bear a striking resemblance to items that number one burger chain McDonald’s has introduced over the past few years. Burger King now offers chicken strips, caramel frappe coffees, Caesar salads and strawberry-mango smoothies.
There’s no denying that Burger King’s previous stance to cater to young men in their menu offerings has seen a struggle recently. Between a down economy and people looking for healthier options, Burger King’s focus on big beefy burgers has helped contribute to lax sales. “Consumers wanted more choices,” said Steve Wiborg, president of Burger King’s North America operations. “Not just healthy choices, but choices they could get at the competition.” The new menu items offer consumers those choices as well as somehealthier options than the standard Whopper and fries. (more…)
McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and Burger King announced they are officially dropping the use of Pink Slime in their food. Wait?! What? They were using something called Pink Slime?
Yes, not only were these major chains using the slime, but 70 percent of all the burgers in the United States contain the ingredient, too.
Pink Slime is the name given to ammoniated boneless lean beef trimmings. It’s an inexpensive beef filler. However, Pink Slime is unfit for human consumption until it is gassed with ammonia. McDonald’s and the other big chains are discontinuing their use of the slime after celebrity chef Jamie Oliver launched a campaign of criticism about the ingredient. Oliver brought the truth of the slime to the public’s eyes during his ABC television show Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. Oliver explained how the filler is cheaply sold as dog food, but after the ammonia gassing, it can be served to humans. One of the biggest frustrations about the slime is that it is widely used in school lunches. (more…)
A Seattle graffiti artist made some waves recently with his additions to a Burger King billboard.
The downtown billboard was advertising Burger King dessert menu items. The campaign was taking a light hearted view on consuming sugary treats by labeling the ice cream cone as “side,” the parfait as “entree,” and the milkshake as “drink.” The graffiti markings came in and turned the Burger King logo into a rotund person with a sad face and x-ed out eyes and labeled it “diabetes.”
Doubtfully was the Burger King company happy with the additions made to their sign, but the ad definitely got noticed. The artist’s markings were widely spread across social media and many cheered the blatant criticism of how fast food is clearly a contributor to the diabetes and obesity crisis in America.
Of course the same arguments can be raised time and time again: “No one is forced to buy their food” and “They paid for the ad, they can display what they want.” These are true statements, but perhaps this type of advertising is just not going to fly with the public anymore.
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